The winner of the 2012 Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award is Haslemere Museum, Surrey – now officially the most family friendly museum in Britain.This local, independent museum wowed families from the minute they walked in. Sandra Tellyn, who visited the museum with her three children as one of the secret family judges, says, ‘The volunteers couldn’t have been more welcoming. Everyone we spoke to gave more than they had to. They were just amazing. It’s a little haven.’
Kids in Museums Patron Mariella Frostrup says, ‘This Award is important because it gives a real voice to families and children – letting them say what works in a museum for them. They chose Haslemere not because of an outstanding collection – even though there’s a lovely stuffed bear, a giant spider crab and even an Egyptian Mummy – but because of the welcome they received. Nothing was too much for the staff and volunteers. It’s a gem.’
The Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award is the biggest museum award in Britain and the only one judged by families. Kids in Museums received more nominations for this year’s Award than ever before from over 600 families, showing how important museums are to children and families and how many are getting it right.
Haslemere shone through because of its warm and welcoming attitude and wide range of activities and clubs for children and teenagers. Judging families particularly noticed how friendly the volunteers were, willing to have a chat to visitors of all ages and point out interesting things to do from the moment they arrived to the moment they left. Sandra Tellyn says, ‘As we were going out, my seven year old said he wanted to have a look at the shop but it was closing. The assistant heard, pulled away the barrier and said, “No problem – go and have a look!” She didn’t rush us at all. Another volunteer told us about Hype, the museum’s teenagers’ club, and their photography project. My son is almost 13. It was perfect.’
The other shortlisted museums were:
World Museum, Liverpool
Brixham Heritage Museum, Devon
Wolverhampton Art Gallery
National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands
Kids in Museums is supported by Art Council England funding to assist museums in engaging and inspiring young audiences.
Hedley Swain, Director of Museums, Arts Council England, said: “We continue to support Kids in Museums to do a fantastic job in highlighting the best examples of museums that really speak to young people and families. Kids in Museums work together with the Arts Council in ensuring that every child and young person has the opportunity to experience the richness of museums.”
For more information on the winner, shortlist and Award go to our website.
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